The Commonwealth

2:48pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Louisville and Lexington Launch Job Study

Joined by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray at the Clinton Global Initiative American event held in Chicago Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a regional economic development study to improve both cities’ competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. The Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution will provide support for the 18-month project to determine how Kentucky’s two largest cities can strengthen their existing job markets and work together to achieve significant job growth in manufacturing and other key industries.

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2:11pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Roadside Relief: Safety Teams on Patrol

Jim Elliott of Scottsville, a safety patrol officer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Division of Incident Management, pulls a piece of tractor-trailer tire from the middle of Interstate 65. Elliott patrols 58 miles of I-65, from the Tennessee bo
Alex Slitz The Daily News

Eric Tipton of Morgantown breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday afternoon when Jim Elliott pulled his white Ford F-350 highway safety truck behind Tipton’s broken-down Nissan at mile marker 5 on the southbound William H. Natcher Parkway. Tipton wasn’t sure if his car had run out of gas or if he had a fuel line problem. Elliott grabbed one of his two gas cans out of the back of his truck and poured a half-gallon of gas into Tipton’s gas tank. The car didn’t start, but at least Tipton figured out the problem. “It’s a good feeling really,” Tipton said about Elliott showing up. “Just knowing if you’re out of fuel or need immediate help to know somebody is there for you.”

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10:18am

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Residents Fight to Keep Post Office

Members of Mason County's Minerva community came out in full force Wednesday night to protest of the possible closing of the post office. From the owner of the building leased by the post office to a representative from U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis' office, opinions and a message of community pride was voiced to USPS Cincinnati District Representative Bob Redden.

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1:31pm

Wed June 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Office for the Blind Seeks Input

The Kentucky Office for the Blind in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet seeks public input on the needs of Kentuckians with visual disabilities at two focus group meetings in July. One meeting will be held July 11 in Louisville with the second the next day in Lexington.

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1:43pm

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Firework Sales Spark Complaints

The sign beside the large white tent on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green says it all - “All fireworks now legal.” But Clint Lowrie of Franklin, manager of Fireworks Supermarket, said many people who walk in still ask if it is legal to buy the larger fireworks. The answer is yes, thanks to a state bill signed into law in March. “People are just relieved to not spend the money on gas to go to Tennessee,” Lowrie said, referring to the common practice of Kentuckians crossing the state line to buy fireworks they couldn’t buy here.

11:42am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Lawmaker Guilty of Murder

Former state lawmaker Steve Nunn pleaded guilty to murder with aggravating circumstances in the 2009 death of Amanda Ross in Lexington.

Nunn, who was set to go on trial in August, entered the plea Tuesday morning in Fayette Circuit Court.

He waived formal sentencing and Judge Pamela Goodwine sentenced Nunn to life without parole. He also was given 12 months for violating a domestic violence order of protection. That sentence is to run concurrently. 

When Goodwine asked Nunn if he was guilty of the charges Nunn said "yes ma'am" in a quiet voice. 

Afterward, Nunn's attorneys, Warren Scoville said first-degree manslaughter was the best case scenario and with that charge he would have still spent the rest of his life in prison.

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10:20am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Bridges Public Hearing Draws Impatience

The first of two public comment hearings on the Ohio River Bridges Project was last night  in Clarksville.

Curtis Morrison with Say No 2 Bridge Tolls was in attendance to criticize the process.

“I have an issues with this being called a public input meeting,” Morrison said “when the governors and mayor got together and come up with a plan and they’re wanting us to give input on their plan, in my perspective that’s a little backwards.”

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10:05am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Allows for More Explosive Holiday

A law passed by the state General Assembly earlier this year now allows the purchase and use of fireworks that shoot in the air, once prohibited in Kentucky. But both sellers and customers are being reminded that "safety and supervision remain the keys to a successful celebration," health and safety experts said.

10:01am

Tue June 28, 2011
The Commonwealth

Drunken Driving Persists in Kentucky

Twenty-three years have passed since the Carrollton bus crash claimed the lives of three adults and 24 children returning to Radcliff from a church-sponsored outing to Kings Island. Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board listed Kentucky among states that have done the least to address hardcore drunken driving. The analysis is rooted in the NTSB’s 11 safety recommendations published in 2000, said Mark Rosekind, an NTSB board member. Of those 11 recommendations, Kentucky has implemented four.

11:33am

Mon June 27, 2011
The Commonwealth

Equestrian Games Return $201 Million

 The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday. “The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have.” Beshear said. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”

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3:06pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Non-Profits Lose Tax-Exempt Status

More than 3,000 Kentucky nonprofits recently lost their tax-exempt status with the IRS and a few are working to reverse that. The thousands of nonprofit organizations that lost their tax-exempt status with the IRS represent a wide range of interests, including county fair associations, American Legion chapters, and religious groups. Danielle Clore of the Kentucky Nonprofit Network says the groups were affected by the 2006 federal Pension and Protection Act.

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3:04pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Atty Agrees with Court's Wal-Mart Ruling

A Kentucky attorney who has worked extensively in employment litigation says he agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a sexual discrimination case against Wal-Mart. The court ruled this week that the case involving more than 1.5 million plaintiffs cannot proceed as a class action.

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2:06pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

Safety Day Revs Up Bikers

Temperatures climbed to 90 degrees Tuesday, but the heat didn’t stop nearly 100 motorcycle riders from showing up for the fourth annual “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Event” in Frankfort. In the parking lot of the Kentucky State Police headquarters, police, vendors and citizens gathered to spread the word about motorcycle safety. Officer Larry Farris, with KSP’s commercial vehicle enforcement division, shared his personal story about the dangers of motorcycles with those gathered.

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2:03pm

Wed June 22, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Corn Growers may Lose Subsidies

Members of Kentucky’s agricultural sector are keeping a close eye on the progression of a Senate bill on Capitol Hill. Last week, the Senate voted 73-27 in favor of an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 that would eliminate ethanol subsidies and protective tariffs. Should the economic development act become law - which many political analysts say is highly unlikely - the amendment would go into effect immediately and could mean trouble for Kentucky corn growers.

1:42pm

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Terrorism Case Deemed ‘Complex’

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Russell granted a federal prosecutor’s motion Tuesday to declare a terrorism case against two Iraqi refugees as “complex,” which means that the trial against the two men will not have to be heard within the time frame of the Speedy Trial Act. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, are in custody facing terrorism charges after a federal grand jury in Bowling Green returned a 23-count indictment against the men May 26. They were arrested May 25. Both entered the country legally as refugees.

11:50am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Relief Workers Return from Alabama

After a recent trip to tornado-stricken Alabama to deliver supplies, a Hardin County mission group is planning to return. The group from New Horizon Baptist Church in Glendale took a tractor trailer full of food, housewares, bed linens, water and a variety of other needed supplies to Webster’s Chapel, Ala., and saw first hand the devastation the recent outbreak of tornadoes had on the area. The group will return to the area because of how many people are still without homes.

10:29am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

State Sends 2nd Round of Firefighters South

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Division of Forestry is sending additional personnel and equipment to assist with the current wildfire emergency in the south. Eleven division employees, comprising an engine strike team will report to Waycross, Ga. on Tuesday. The engine strike team consists of five 4-wheel drive pickup trucks with 200-gallon water tanks and foam capabilities, 10 firefighters and a strike team leader. The crews are being sent in addition to 11 Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighters who reported to Florida last week.

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9:07am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Railroad near Fort Knox Closes Trails

Hikers hoping to test the trails at Bridges to the Past or Tioga Falls will have to put those plans on hold. The two trail systems in the Fort Knox area have closed and could remain restricted to the public for up to three years. The post is coordinating the closures with the Paducah & Louisville Railway as it makes repairs and upgrades to its rail network, which will create a maze of safety hazards. Part of the project involves replacing a railroad bridge nearly 600 feet long that was built in 1889.

9:02am

Tue June 21, 2011
The Commonwealth

Resort Developer Charged with "False Acts"

A consumer protection lawsuit has been filed against developers of Green Farm Resort in Grayson County. The lawsuit, filed Friday by the attorney general’s office in Grayson Circuit Court, accuses the defendants of engaging in unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts in the marketing and selling of lots at resort in Falls of Rough.

11:06am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Disaster Displaced Pets Come to Kentucky

About 40 cats and dogs that were displaced by severe storms in Alabama will soon be up for adoption in the Louisville area. The pets could not be reunited with their owners after tornadoes devastated Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area. The Humane Society collected the animals and is distributing them to various shelters. Locally, the Kentucky Humane Society and the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter will be responsible for finding new homes for the animals.

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11:03am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

LOU Considers Fireworks Ban

The Louisville Metro council committee on Public Safety held a special meeting today that ended with the passage of a revised ordinance that allows the sale and use of fireworks within city limits. The ordinance was created to respond to a move by state lawmakers that made it legal to sell and ignite fireworks anywhere in Kentucky. The initial proposal in the council reinstated the ban, limiting the sale and use to only small grade novelties. However, amendments added by the county clerk’s office changed the ordinance to allow the sale of larger fireworks.

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10:48am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Forensic Scientists Process Thousands of Pieces of Evidence

Growing up with two parents working as police officers, Kentucky State Police forensic scientist Vanessa Beall knew she wanted to work in law enforcement. Beall is one of 60 forensic scientists at the Kentucky State Police Central Laboratory branch in Frankfort. Every police agency in the state relies on the forensic scientists in KSP’s six crime labs to process evidence gathered at crime scenes. The central lab is the only full-service lab in the state.

6:33am

Mon June 20, 2011
The Commonwealth

Attorney Could Lose More than License

Stan Chesley was asked a few years ago if he ever would consider walking away from the law career that has brought him more fame, wealth and influence than the former shoe salesman ever thought possible. "I've known a lot of lawyers, and there's nothing sadder than when they retire," Chesley said in that 2006 interview. "People completely forget about them." The job he couldn't imagine giving up could be taken from him unless he can convince the Kentucky Supreme Court later this summer that he did not violate ethics rules and should be allowed to keep his law license. The state bar association's board of governors recommended disbarment last week.

3:02pm

Fri June 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

McConnell Talks Terror with Local Leaders

US Senator Mitch McConnell met this morning with law enforcement and community leaders in Bowling Green to discuss concerns about an upcoming terror trial that could be held in Kentucky. Two Iraqi nationals were arrested in Bowling Green late last month on charges that they tried to supply cash and weapons to Al qqeda in Iraq. Senator McConnell says the defendants should have been treated as enemy combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

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2:15pm

Fri June 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

E-town Police Chief Retires

After more than 40 years working at the Elizabethtown Police Department, Chief Ruben Gardner said the one thing that continues to baffle him is people’s inhumanity toward one another. “I’ve seen brothers kill brothers and a few hours later they’ll be asleep when we go get them,” Gardner said. “It’s really mind boggling to see that kind of  behavior.” Gardner, 65, is retiring at the end of July. Despite the sometimes dark nature of the job, he said what he enjoys about law enforcement and what has pushed him to continue working is the opportunity to help others.

10:12am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

Some Non-Profits Lose Tax Free Status

Several local organizations are included in more than 3,000 entities in Kentucky which have not filed necessary information with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS posted a 101 page list of Kentucky organizations on its website, including Maysville Younger Women's Club, Mason County Little League, Lions International in Maysville, and the Maysville Mason County Humane Society. MMCHS is not The Humane Society of Buffalo Trace; HSBT is not on the revoked list.

8:03am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

Drug agents raid Dry Ridge Doctor's Office

Federal and state law enforcement authorities raided a Dry Ridge doctor's office Thursday morning. The raid at Dr. Sundiata El-Amin’s office at 95 S. Dixie Highway began about 11:30 a.m., said Russ Neville, agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Cincinnati office, which covers Northern Kentucky.

8:01am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fen-Phen Lawyer banned from Ohio Suit

Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley, who already faces the potential loss of his law license, took another hit Thursday when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine barred him from representing the state in a major case. A DeWine spokeswoman said Chesley would no longer be permitted to oversee the state's class action lawsuit against mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The decision comes two days after the Kentucky Bar Association's board of governors recommended that Chesley should be permanently disbarred in the state for his role in the settlement of the fen-phen diet drug case.

4:38pm

Thu June 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Controversial Pro-Bridges Movie Debuts

Attendees of this morning’s premiere of the short movie Building Bridges with Benny Breeze were asked to sign an oath saying they would listen to all sides of the debate over the Ohio River Bridges Project and be respectful of anyone with differing opinions. At the end of the movie, the star—Chris Saunders playing Benny Breeze—faced the camera and told the dozen people who signed the oath and stayed for the show that they were either for progress (meaning they were in favor of the bridges project) or against it. And if they were against it, they should “get the f*** out of this region.”

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1:47pm

Thu June 16, 2011
The Commonwealth

Former Director Charged with Embezzlement

The former executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association has been indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on charges of embezzling $78,000 from the agency. Gary Hall, 39 of Lexington, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of theft by deception over $500 and three counts of theft by deception over $10,000.

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